Magazine B Issue 86 (USM) is available now on loremnotipsum.com. In creating 80+ issues, B editors visited the headquarters of countless brands—a time that feels like a lifetime ago now. Meeting marketing representatives and touring head offices signaled the official beginning of our research on each brand. To analogize with the innerworkings of a restaurant, these initial encounters were like being welcomed into a professional kitchen. The office tour reveals so much about a brand in terms of values that are reflected in the office layout, the interior design, and the way employees utilize spaces, not to mention the location. The purpose of an office tour is not to scrutinize the interior design or the geographic location, but rather to glean how the brand makes decisions based on what they do or don’t choose to incorporate into their ideal office space.
One of the most interesting that springs to mind is the Monocle office. When B covered the Monocle magazine brand five years ago, the company was located in an old brick building in the Saint Marylebone borough of London, England. Wooden desks and chairs, big windows drawing in abundant sunlight, and a tidy garden outside the window were impressive enough, but the greatest symbol of the Monocle universe’s spirit was the way the furniture was arranged in the lobby and the reception area, which determine the tone for every building. Among the various pieces was the notable Haller system created by USM, the brand we are focusing on in this issue.
The USM Haller system is immediately identifiable, and it does not require knowledge of design history or a keen eye for aesthetics to recognize its value. While USM’s core asset is the concept of modularity to allow for infinite expansion, its most brilliant accomplishment would be the fact that the furniture retains its distinct design identity and balance no matter how far its products expand from shelves to catering trolleys, catering trolleys to wardrobes, and wardrobes to desks. USM naturally blends with any architectural style regardless of the size or mood of a given space—a quality that makes USM transcend its functionality as mere furniture to that of a perfect organic system. Indeed, this attribute even raises the question of whether the brand will ever be able to create something that tops the Haller system.
But USM remains unflustered by this question. Emphasizing that old modules purchased a decade ago are still compatible with current releases, the brand focuses on tweaking the already excellent line rather than reinventing the wheel. USM touts its modular system as synonymous with sustainability, and over the past 50 years, their products have proven that sustainability is a sincere brand value. USM Product Development Director Thomas Dienes once articulated the brand’s stance during an interview: “Sometimes it’s good to focus on what you are good at.” In a society addicted to instant success, USM’s attitude is a breath of fresh air.
Discover Magazine B – Issue 86 (USM).
Magazine B is an ad-less monthly publication that introduces one well-balanced brand unearthed from around the globe in each issue. Between its covers, Magazine B not only shares untold stories behind the brand but also its sentiment and culture that any readers interested in brand marketing and management can leaf through with ease. Magazine B attempts to discover truly good brands from today’s market where countless brand-named products are overflowing. Magazine B pursues its quest for true value of a printed medium by becoming a magazine that would be worth possessing, not affected by advertisements since it receives no financial support from the brand, and maintains a unique and independent perspective which is increasingly disappearing due to overflowing information mingled among different media outlets.
Magazine B dedicates each issue to the story of one specific brand, which is one of the well-balanced brands that JOH. discovers from around the world based on four standards: beauty, practicality, price, and philosophy. And each issue is packed with B’s unique insights and in-depth analysis. Magazine B will continue to search brands that it pursues to introduce cover-to-cover, such as Swiss recycled bag manufacturer Freitag and Japanese camping gear maker Snow Peak.
Details: Magazine B – Issue 86 (USM)
240 x 170 mm, 160 pages